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Chapter 7: The Judicial Branch

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7: The Judicial Branch"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 7: The Judicial Branch

2 “The Federal Court System & How Federal Courts Are Organized”

3 “The Federal Court System”

4 Equal Justice for All Our court systems were established to help settle civil disputes or decide the guilt or innocence of a person.

5 Equal Justice for All A “civil dispute” is between:
two private parties (people, companies, or organizations) between private parties and the government or the federal government and state / local governments. To speed up the civil process, a summary judgment may be issued. This is a decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented for the record without a trial.

6 Equal Justice for All In a “criminal” trial, witnesses present evidence and a jury or judge delivers a verdict.

7 “Equal Justice Under the Law”
In America, we believe in the philosophy of “Equal Justice Under the Law” which means that we must treat every person the same. This comes from the principle of rule of law which prevents an abuse of government power and provides for accountability to the law. (No one is above the law) This is the basis for our legal system. What does this figure represent?

8 “Equal Justice Under the Law”
All people are guaranteed: a public trial in a Trial Court A lawyer even if they cannot afford one “Innocent until proven guilty” Right of appeal of their case if the courts have made a mistake.

9 “The Federal Court System”

10 “The Federal Court System”
The role and powers of our federal court system are discussed in Article III of the U.S. Constitution. This Article also gives Congress the power to establish lower courts

11 “The Federal Court System”
In 1789, the Congress passed the “Judiciary Act” which created “district” and “circuit” courts of appeals.

12 “The Federal Court System”
In 1891, the Congress created the federal system of appeals courts. It has three (3) levels: U.S. Supreme Court Appeals Courts District Court

13 “The State Court System”
There are 50 separate state court systems at the state level. State courts get their powers from state constitutions and laws. (Each state has their own court system)

14 “Federal Court Cases”

15 “Federal Court Cases” “Jurisdiction” is the court’s authority to hear a case. Article III of the U.S. Constitution gives the federal courts “jurisdiction” over eight (8) kinds of cases.

16 “Federal Court Cases” Cases involving the U.S. Constitution

17 “Federal Court Cases” Violations of Federal Laws

18 “Federal Court Cases” Controversies Between States

19 “Federal Court Cases” Disputes between Parties of Different States

20 “Federal Court Cases” Suits Involving the Federal Government

21 “Federal Court Cases” Cases involving Foreign Governments and Treaties

22 “Federal Court Cases” Cases Based on Admiralty and Maritime Laws

23 “Federal Court Cases” Cases Involving U.S. Diplomats

24 Relation to State Courts
“Exclusive Jurisdiction” means only the federal courts may hear such cases.

25 Relation to State Courts
“Concurrent Jurisdiction” means that they share authority between state and federal courts. Cases where citizens of different states are involved in a dispute over $50,000 may be tried in either court.

26 “How Federal Courts Are Organized”

27 Federal Court “Pyramid”

28 U.S. District Courts “District Courts” are where trials are held and lawsuits begin. Each state has at least one district court and sometimes more. District courts have “original jurisdiction” (means cases must begin here)

29 U.S. District Courts “District Courts” are responsible for determining the facts of a case. They are trial courts for both criminal and civil federal cases. District courts are the only courts where witnesses testify, juries hear cases, and verdicts are reached.

30 U.S. Courts of Appeals Also known as “appeals court, circuit courts of appeals, appellate courts” A large percentage of people who lose their cases in a district court appeal to the next highest level.

31 U.S. Courts of Appeals The job of the appeals court is to review the decisions made in a lower district court. Appeals court have “appellate jurisdiction” (authority to hear a case appealed from a lower court) Appeals courts can also review the rulings and decisions from lower courts if the people or groups involved believe the agency acted unfairly                                                                                                             

32 U.S. Courts of Appeals In order to appeal a case:
The judge applied the law incorrectly The judge used the wrong procedure. New evidence turns up Rights were violated                                                                                                             

33 U.S. Courts of Appeals There are twelve (12) U.S. Courts of Appeals
Florida is in the 11th Appeals Circuit A “circuit” is a geographic region.

34 Federal Judicial Circuits & Districts

35 How Appeals Courts Make Decisions
Appeals courts do NOT hold trials. Appeals courts may: Uphold original decisions Reverse that decision “Remand” or return the case to the lower court.

36 How Appeals Courts Make Decisions
A panel of three (3) judges review the record of the case. Innocence or guilt is not decided, but only if the defendant’s rights have been protected and if they received a fair trial.

37 Federal Judges Each district court has at least two (2) judges.
The U.S. Supreme Court has nine (9) “justices”.

38 Federal Judges Federal judges are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. “Senatorial Courtesy” is when the President submits the name to the senators from the candidate’s state before making it official.

39 Federal Judges Federal judges serve for life.
However, judges can be “impeached” and removed from their position.                           

40 Federal Judges Each district also has a U.S. Attorney to represent the government and prosecute people. They serve under the Attorney General, who heads the Justice Department.                           

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